I am of Italian-American descent and Italian was unfortunately not passed down through the generations. However, there are certain recipes that we still make that came from the first generation that moved to America. Of these recipes, there is one consisting of pickled eggplants with hot peppers and various spices and vinegar. No one in my family knows the spelling, but they have referred to it (phonetically) as something akin to "boo bad". I would like to find what the actual spelling/name of this recipe might be and perhaps whether the name is widely know or if it is regional.

  • 2
    There are thousands of food recipes and many of them are regional, that is they are known and prepared in limited regional areas of Italy. What part of Italy is your family from? Have a look here mangiabedda.com/italian-pickled-eggplant
    – Hachi
    Aug 11 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


The Pickled Eggplant is an Italian recipe, usually Sicilian or Neapolitan.

Its name in Italian is Melanzane sott'olio , literally Eggplant under oil.

I don't know if a particular, maybe regional, name exists, that can sound like boo bad.

But I am from Naples, and the Melanzane sott'olio are very common, and I've never heard a name similar to boo bad. I don't know Sicilian, but I have Sicilian relatives, never heard a similar name or other name.

The only possibility that came to mind is that boo bad, or something similar, comes from the Neapolitan name ‘o buccaccio ‘e mulignane sott'uoglio. It is very common.

And it is plausible that boo bad can be a tranformation of buccaccio.

The phrase means, in Italian, il barattolo di melanzane sott'olio, which in English means the jar of piggled eggplant.




I believe your relatives were talking about 'mpupata — sandwich stuffing made of pickled eggplants and anchovies, which is the specialty of the province of Salerno in Campania.

To the American ear, it would sound as "boo-bahd" indeed.

  • It's this.
    – Charo
    Aug 16 at 8:19
  • And you can see here (look for August 7th) that it's also called 'mpupat.
    – Charo
    Aug 16 at 8:31
  • I believe that yout conjecture is very plausible. The point is to verify the origin of the OP relatives. If they are from Salerno, your conjecture is correct, because 'mpupata, a far as I know, is a term specifically of Salerno, not Naples, it seems to me. I have never seen or heard this 'mpupata in Naples. But it could be my fault. Aug 16 at 14:40
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    @BakerStreet: you're right, I've learned of it specifically in Nocera. I keep forgetting that being 25 km away can mean a big deal in Italy!
    – Quassnoi
    Aug 16 at 15:32
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    See 'La palatella dell'Agro Nocerino-Sarnese'. In Nocera Superiore they eat the 'mpupata during the feast of the Assumption of Mary on Ferragosto. lacucinaitaliana.it/storie/piatti-tipici/palatella-materdomini Aug 16 at 15:49

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